My original intent was to make my personal version of Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time with the knowledge that there is really NO TOP 100 or 500 rock 'n roll songs, it's all individual preference. What this comes down to is 100 songs that have a deep personal meaning to me (e.g. 'The Heart of the Matter'), or some long-term memory moment in time (e.g listening to 'Satisfaction' on my transistor radio in 1965 while wearing my steel metal roller skates). The trouble is, we all have too many moments to bottle in a 100, but here I go anyway. Also, I have not rated my list, best 1-100 but there is a short starting point in time that quickly gets random.
The first album that I ever owned, I actually stole, The Beatles – A Hard Day's Night (Original Motion Picture Sound Track). It was taken by me from my grandfather's record collection that I found in his wooden console record player at his house. I believe my dad told me he belonged to the Columbia Record Club and must have gotten this one thrown in as a bonus because I knew he didn't listen to it. I guess I'm explaining my childhood rationalization for stealing this album and even now feel I took it more as a need than a want. And boy, what an album it was, I'm listening to George Martin and won't know it until years later!
Playing records was something my parents never really did at our house, so this record was my start and made me feel that I was part of something different from my parents point of view. I'm actually visiting the childhood house now on Tunnell St. (Santa Maria, CA) where I started to play my own 45's and albums, in my room. I lived in a home where rock 'n roll was not embraced. I vividly remember my parents and church friends, The Reyburns, over at our old house on Sunset St. on a memorable Sunday evening. The parents were putting down The Beatles during their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, as my brother, sister and I (along with the Reyburn children) were trying to tune the adults out and tune into the wonderful Beatles and their screaming fans on our black and white TV.
In 1967, my grandfather passed away and that wooden stereo console and his record collection, including Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra came to our house. I think like most American homes, the stereo console was off limits to the children, but we all sneaked our albums onto the best sound system in the house when our parents were gone. At a certain point, my parents gave up and so the console's vacuum tubes got heated up and were worn out by the early 70's. What a time, Buffalo Springfield on the stereo console and the Vietnam War live on the TV console. These two beasts of technology played across from each other in our converted garage family room with our new indoor/outdoor blue/green carpet.
From junior high 1966, music was a big part of my friends lives and thus became a big part of my life. As I moved into high school and through college, there were the larger than life bands, the break-ups, the new bands, the new single artist's, all with the blending of acoustic, electric and American musical genres. From the car radios, the new portable stereo systems and the concert experiences, music was right there for all my friends and me. Today, we still never stop talking about all the music- old and new. Here in this playlist, you are going to hear mostly 60's and 70's songs that I bonded with and are a part of me today. I'm sure if you read my blog on a regular basis, there are more than a few songs here that have always stayed with you too.
As I write this, it's starting to rain right now and that's also a good memory for us in California too. The old forced-air heater has just whirled on and it's time for some Thanksgiving pie for breakfast. Take care my friends.